Like most pavement maintenance equipment, sweeping trucks have an abundance of OEM options available. But despite the array of options and the length of time they have been on the market, many sweeping contractors still don't know what is available to them, says Brian Giles, product manager for Elgin Sweeper Company.
There isn't enough room in this magazine to describe all the possible options and enhancements for sweepers and the benefits they can offer contractors. Tom Rokas, who works for inside sales at Tymco, recommends a contractor schedule a demo with a manufacturer so they can go into complete detail about the options, see how the options work so they can understand each particular one, and see why those options are beneficial.
One factor that may cause contractors to think twice about adding to their machines is price. "It's a fraction of the cost to add something from the factory than it is to do it after the fact. And it will probably be a better, higher quality installation if this enhancement is built into the sweeper, not on the sweeper," Giles says. "What you need to consider is 'how much can this make me on the back end?' Put aside the fact that there's going to be some paying up front to get it. 'Will it make me more money in the long run?'"
Compiled here are some of the more popular options available as well as options that contractors may not know about.
Third front broom
Most sweepers have two brooms, but this option provides a contractor with an extra third broom at the front of the truck. This third broom is attached to an arm that reaches out in front of the truck and into corners. It also helps the sweeper follow tight turns and increases the sweeping width, allowing the broom to reach places the other brooms can't.
This option is for full-sized sweepers only, Giles says. And it is starting to become popular for street sweeping contractors who run those sweepers. This is a fairly new option that has been on the market for three years, Giles adds.
Gutter broom tilt
A popular option for contractors, gutter broom tilt allows a contractor to adjust the angle of the gutter broom from inside the cab, says Raymond Massey, national sales manager for Schwarze Industries. Giles says gutter broom tilt is available on both street and parking lot sweepers and can, depending on the manufacturer, be fitted to the left side, right side, or both sides of the sweeper.
"You may go down one street and you've got about a half inch drop on your curb line. Then you go around the corner and they've added another inch and a half of asphalt without milling the old asphalt out. At that point now you're down to a two inch drop in your curb and gutter," Massey says. "You're able to adjust that broom hydraulically from inside the cab and adjust that tilt to get down in that curb and gutter to transfer that material in front of either your sweeper head or your main broom."
The gutter broom tilt option allows the operator to stay in the cab instead of getting out of the truck and manually adjusting the broom. This saves time and increases safety for the operator.
Another benefit of gutter broom tilt is that as brooms wear a contractor can tilt them to get more material onto the roadway as well as help extend the life expectancy of those brooms, Massey says.
Gutter boom extension override
This option allows operators to use the brooms in a normal extended curbside operation but also switch the brooms in various increments all the way to back under the sweeper. Normally, when you hit a switch for the gutter brooms they automatically swing out to go into the curb and gutter. With this option an operator is able to activate another switch that takes the broom arm and pulls it back in under the sweeper yet keeps it on the ground.
A sweeper is most efficient when the material it is sweeping is loose or finer particles. The gutter broom extension override enables the operator to agitate the material in front of either the sweeping head or main broom to loosen packed down material and increase pickup efficiency for a better job on the first pass, Massey says.